#18 Oklahoma State (25-8, 8-4) vs. #8 Oklahoma (25-8, 6-5) . . . April 15, 7:38 p.m. Tulsa, Okla. ONEOK Field
April 16-17/7:08 p.m. & 4:08 p.m. Oklahoma City RedHawks Field at Bricktown
Oklahoma State Oklahoma State takes a four-game winning streak into The Bedlam Series this weekend against Oklahoma. The 18th-ranked Cowboys are 25-8, tying them with Texas and OU for the best overall record in the Big 12 Conference, and in third place in the league standings with an 8-4 mark. OSU has won three-straight conference series for the first time since 2008. OSU ranks second in the Big 12 in batting average (.304) and third in ERA (2.51). Dane Phillips leads the offense with a conference-best .404 batting average, while Brad Propst has compiled a team-high six wins on the mound. OSU head coach Frank Anderson is in his eighth season at the helm of the Cowboys and has led the club to 287 wins and five NCAA Tournament appearances in his career. During a four-year span from 2006-09, OSU was the only Big 12 Conference team to advance to an NCAA Regional championship round each season.
About Oklahoma Oklahoma is 25-8 and in fourth place in the Big 12 standings with a 6-5 mark. The Sooners, who are ranked as high as No. 8 nationally, lead the Big 12 with a .330 batting average and sport a 3.08 ERA. Expected to start on the mound for the Sooners this weekend are: Fri.: Michael Rocha, Sr., RHP (7-1, 1.02); Sat.: Burch Smith, Jr., RHP (5-2, 3.83); Sun.: Dillon Overton, Fr., LHP (5-3, 1.45) OSU is 148-143 all time against Oklahoma. OU defeated the Cowboys, 8-3, earlier this month in Norman in a non-conference game. OU has won The Bedlam Series each of the last two years.
Watch, Listen, Follow All OSU baseball games are carried live by Stillwater Radio and will air on KSPI 93.7 FM. Rex Holt, who is in his 29th season with Cowboy baseball (16th as the play-by-play voice), will call the action, with Matt "Chief" Davis providing color commentary. Radio broadcasts and live stats can also be accessed via www.okstate.com (links are available under Schedule). All three games in The Bedlam Series will be televised live and will air on Cox Cable Channel 3 in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Friday's game will also be carried by Fox College Sports on DirecTV Channel 617.
Home Sweet Home Allie P. Reynolds Stadium has been home to Oklahoma State baseball since 1981, and in those 31 seasons the Cowboys have been nearly unbeatable on their home field. OSU is 783-171 (.821) all-time at Reynolds Stadium and has lost more than two consecutive games on their home turf only twice (six in a row in May 2007; three straight in 2010). The Cowboys are 20-3 at home in 2011.
300 Club OSU head coach Frank Anderson is on the verge of becoming the third coach in Cowboy history to reach 300 wins. Gary Ward (953 wins) and Toby Greene (318) are the only two previous OSU coaches to reach that mark. Anderson is in his eighth season at OSU and owns a career record of 287-166, which includes a 104-94 Big 12 mark. He ranks third on OSU's all-time coaching wins list.
New Faces OSU's 33-man 2011 roster includes 18 newcomers -- 12 junior college transfers, five high school players and one Division I transfer. Five of the Cowboy newcomers were selected in last June's Major League Baseball Draft, highlighted by freshman right-handed pitcher Jason Hursh, who was a sixth-round pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Also among OSU's freshman class is Nate Sorenson, a scholarship quarterback for the Cowboy football team who was a 40th-round pick of Pittsburgh following his prep career. The group of JUCO newcomers includes MLB draftees Chris Marlowe and Blake Barnes, who have boosted OSU's bullpen, and infielder Zach Johnson, who has nailed down the Cowboys' starting spot at first base.
Hit Man Sophomore Dane Phillips has been one of the Big 12's most consistent hitters in 2011. He leads the conference with a .404 batting average and 55 hits, and his seven triples leads the NCAA and is two shy of the OSU single-season record. He also ranks second in the league in total bases (88) and slugging percentage (.647). Splitting time between DH and catcher, Phillips hit safely in OSU's first 13 games and has hits in 30 of the Cowboys' 33 games this season. He leads the club with 16 multi-hit games, including a trio of four-hit efforts. Phillips reached base safely in the first 30 games this season, extending a streak dating back to last season to 35 games before it was snapped against Missouri on April 9.
Aluminum Assault Over the last several seasons, OSU has established itself among the top hitting teams in the Big 12 Conference, and that trend is continuing this season. Along with a .304 batting average that ranks second in the league, the Cowboys lead the conference with 75 doubles and 19 triples and hold down the second spot in hits (347) and slugging percentage (.468). The 2010 club ranked second in the league with a .307 batting average and finished third in doubles (128) and sacrifice flies (31). Five of the Cowboy regulars in the starting lineup hit .316 or better. In 2009, the Cowboys ranked among the Big 12's best in batting average (third at .300), triples (second with 21), home runs (third with 81) and slugging percentage (second at .503). OSU led the Big 12 in three offensive categories in 2008 -- batting average (.326), slugging percentage (.531) and home runs (89). The Cowboys finished second in the league in runs, hits, triples and RBIs. In '06, OSU led the Big 12 in homers, triples and slugging percentage, and in 2007 the Cowboys led the Big 12 in six offensive categories and ranked second in two more.
Strong Armed OSU's pitching staff has allowed just 84 earned runs in 301.0 innings, which translates to a 2.51 team ERA, and the Cowboys are second in the league with six shutouts. Ten different Cowboy hurlers have notched wins, with seven of those collecting at least two victories. Want more? OSU's opponents are hitting just .241, and of the 13 Cowboys with at least three appearances, 11 of them have an ERA of 3.20 or less. And while we're at it, go ahead and note that OSU's staff has issued just 77 walks, the second fewest in the Big 12. Among the leaders on the pitching staff this season are: Brad Propst - A converted infielder, Propst entered this season with three wins and three saves in 30 career appearances. The senior right-hander has started eight games in 2011 and is 6-1 with a 1.25 ERA. Andrew Heaney - A year ago, this lefty became the first freshman to lead OSU in wins since 2001 as he was 5-4 with a save in 16 outings (10 starts). As a sophomore, he's been even better, with four wins, a 3.20 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 45.0 innings. Mike Strong - A two-time MLB Draft pick, Strong is 3-0 with a 2.41 ERA in eight games this season and has 43 Ks in 37.1 IP. In his last six outings, the lefty has racked up 38 strikeouts. Chris Marlowe - Marlowe leads the Cowboys with 14 appearances, and this JUCO transfer has been nearly unhittable at times. He has a team-high 49 strikeouts in only 30.0 innings and earned his first-career win by striking out 10 in 4.2 innings of relief work vs. New Mexico, a performance that earned him Big 12 Co-Newcomer of the Week honors. Blake Barnes - A junior right-hander Barnes has three wins, all in relief, and a 1.42 ERA in 13 appearances. He has 16 Ks in 25.1 innings of work. Gabe Weidenaar - A junior who spends most of his time in center field, Weidenaar has also been a star on the mound as he's recorded two saves and has yet to allow a run in five appearances. He has nine strikeouts in 11.1 IP and opponents are hitting only .158 off him.
Senior Sensation Brad Propst is having a memorable final season in an OSU uniform. The senior right-hander has established himself as the ace of the Cowboys' staff with a 6-1 record and a 1.25 ERA in eight starts. Propst has pitched at least six innings in seven of his eight starts, and he ranks fourth in the Big 12 with 57.2 innings pitched. On March 28, Propst was named Big 12 Pitcher of Week after tossing a complete game against No. 4 Texas in which he allowed just one run on seven hits and struck out six. Propst is 4-0 with two complete games and a 0.82 ERA in his four Big 12 starts, and he has allowed just three runs in 33.0 IP.
Bedlam Bits This year's Bedlam Series will mark the first time since 2006 that both teams are nationally ranked. In '06, OU entered the series ranked No. 8 while OSU came in at No. 24. The Cowboys swept that series. The Sooners have won each of the last two Bedlam Series, winning two of the three games in both 2009 and 2010. In 2009, OU snapped OSU's eight-game winning streak in Tulsa as the Sooners won the opening game of that year's Bedlam Series. Since the start of Big 12 Conference play (1997 season), the two teams have split the 14 series, with each winning seven. OSU owns a 23-19 record in the series during that span. OSU is 13-8 in Bedlam Series games (reg. season) under head coach Frank Anderson, and the Cowboys have four series wins.
It's Been Awhile Last month, OSU became the first team to win a Big 12 series against Texas since 2009, snapping the Longhorns' streak of 11-straight conference series wins. Two weeks ago, the Cowboys won a series against Nebraska in Lincoln for the first time since 1997. Based in large part on those performances, OSU entered the national rankings on April 4 for the first time since the end of 2009 season, debuting at No. 23 in the Baseball America rankings. This week, the Cowboys are ranked as high as 18th by Collegiate Baseball.
ReKord Setters Mike Strong and Chris Marlowe set an OSU record in the series opener against Texas as the duo combined for 21 strikeouts, the most ever by the Cowboys in a single game and one shy of the Big 12 Conference record. Strong and Marlowe broke the record set just last season by Kevin Chambers and Brian Denneny, who combined for 20 strikeouts against Alabama A&M. In the record-setting performance, Strong was the starter and struck out nine in 8.1 innings before Marlowe came out of the bullpen and racked up 12 Ks in 6.2 innings.
Short Hops The Cowboys are hitting .319 (112-for-351) with runners in scoring position. Nine different position players have made their OSU debuts this season while 10 different pitchers have toed the pitching rubber for the first time as Cowboys. OSU has turned 41 double plays this season, the most in the Big 12. Chris Marlowe is averaging 14.70 strikeouts per nine innings, while Mike Strong's strikeouts per nine innings average stands at 10.37.